Social and political discontent, climate change and the proliferation of digital technologies have become defining characteristics of modern life, and they are producing a turbulent mix of uncertainty and complexity. So how, and to whom, should corporate leaders be responding? Who, and what, should corporate leaders be responsible for: the environment, employees, customers, shareholders; the future? How, in short, are corporate leaders to respond to a disparate community of interests, make a profit, and do all this responsibly?
Technology is going to be part of the answer. It is also part of the problem. The advance of automation and machine intelligence is shaking the ground before us. Certain jobs will become redundant. New jobs – ones in sectors we haven’t even thought of yet – will be created. Hyper-connectivity, real-time data and data analytics will improve and accelerate responsiveness, both within organisations and companies, and in response to external factors.
But is responsiveness on its own enough? Social media platforms have, for example, been criticized for not taking action around the ‘fake news’ circulated in the lead-up to the US presidential election. And Facebook has been criticized for the ‘filter bubble’ that is paradoxically both connecting and disconnecting its community of users.
Chaired by Tim Bradshaw, San Francisco correspondent and Personal Technology columnist, Financial Times, this curtain-opener dinner taking place on the eve of the WEF sessions, will set out some of ways in which corporate leaders are deploying technologies and new ways of thinking in order to lead their businesses responsibly and responsively in the new global paradigm.